Twitter: Overview

I’ve spent the last two days trying to find a clever way to overview Twitter.   In an effort to establish myself as a reputable resource I’ve read Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s tweets, rewatched Josh Groban singing Kanye West’s tweets and discovered “sweets” by We Sing Your Tweets.  It’s easy to plummet down the rabbit hole.  So many people, posts, links, chatter, retweets, favorites, lists, twitpics.  You can see how some could view Twitter as a vast sea of self-publishing for the self-important.

And yet, Twitter is more than celebrity feuds, divorces and lunches. Tweets can be invaluable resources for teaching #occupywallstreet, satire, Steve Jobs, writing with voice, etc. Tweets can teach concision, engage quiet students in classroom discussion, be a forum for creating thesis statements.

This past summer Scott McLeod (one of the minds behind Shift Happens) posted on Big Think an “open letter” to educators about the value of Twitter.   Used correctly it’s a stream of resources that showcase effective classroom practices and a learning community for teachers and students.  But navigating Twitter is daunting and difficult for the best of us. That’s why it’s good to have help.  Below I’ve listed some of the most useful links for getting Twitter up and running in your classroom.

Digitally Speaking Twitter Resources & Video Tutorials

Twitter Handle: @plugusin

This is a series of video tutorials and guides that help with navigating the setup of a twitter account.  They are incredibly helpful if you are new to Twitter.

The Daring Librarian’s Wikipage on Educational Twittering

Twitter Handle: @gwynethjones

A significant “library” of links to posts and information about everything from Twitter accounts to hashtags. 

Cybrary Man’s Twitter Resources

Twitter Handle: @cybraryman1

A page chock full of links that all discuss how to implement Twitter in the classroom.  This is an invaluable page if you understand Twitter and you’re looking for ideas and “extras.” 

You may, as you read through, decide that you’d like your students to create their own “private” and locked Twitter account only for educational use. This means they follow only you.  You might also ask their names as twitter handles (or some appropriate version of their name/initials) so you can easily determine who is commenting.

Tomorrow: Twitter as personal narrative.

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